I've been a stay at home mum since I was just 18, and when my youngest, Blossom, left in May last year I think my (perceived) purpose in life left too. Or maybe it left a few years earlier when I closed the door on more than a decade of homeschooling?
You know when you have to describe yourself? As far back as I can recall I've always answered that I was a wife and mother, or a homeschooler...but the last few years my answer has been textile pattern designer, wife and mother.
But really, that's not describing myself. That's just telling what I 'do'.
So I began to think about exactly 'who' I am and 'what' makes me, me?
That entailed some deep pondering over many months, and it led me to acknowledge there was a gaping hole in my heart - a missing part in my nature that has only ever wanted to live her life as a contented home-maker. Somewhere back between now and when the kids finished their education I neglected that basic need within me and didn't recognise my daily sorrow for what it was. Home-sickness.
I was missing the making of a home.
And here is where I arrived at 'a year of gentle domesticity' : a return of my heart to the home; a re-acquaintance, or a new acquaintance, with all of the domestic arts I can think of, and permission to self to enjoy the journey.
This year I'll read, knit, bake, crochet, clean, decorate, entertain, de-clutter, read classics, watch old movies, make my own clothes, journal, stitch (well, yeh), write, learn papercrafts and bobbin lace, grow a garden, and, and, and...so much more.
I've gathered a number of good books to guide me and inspire me...
...and this one especially. I've had it for years as a secret indulgence into domestic delights and it's also where I discovered the perfect description of my 2015 year.
I own the hardback and the kindle version because I will be referring to it often and need it wherever I am for a jolly relaxing and enjoyable read filled with laughter, crafts, homemaking insight, and hope.
You'll find it HERE as a kindle (I'm not an affiliate so I don't earn anything for promoting this book - I just HIGHLY recommend it).
I've gotten a new diary for planning, a very sweet vintage style diary from "Daphne's Diary" magazine (another wonderfully inspiring home-making tome).
Just opening the page for January 1st gave me an expectant thrill for the year ahead...
...and the first picture in my diary for January couldn't have been more perfect.
So I made my first entry, my 'line in the sand' I suppose it was...
...before I framed the stitchery that reminds me daily where to let my heart rest in the months ahead.
I'm thinking that before I do anything else I'll need a new apron.
That's the picture I have in my mind when I remember my Nana - always home-making in a freshly pressed apron, and always smelling of baked love.
So I've been looking over apron patterns, and I really like this one...
It's inside one of the books I'll be referring to this year.
If I can master it I'll share a tutorial - you see there's no actual pattern, just a line drawing and 1929-style written instructions. Wish me luck!
Did you notice the lace bookmark on the apron page?
I love using lengths of cotton lace to save my place when I'm reading - such a simple, pretty thing...
I've cleared my desk and have things on it that make me smile....
The plan is to sit down each morning and take a little time to write down what I'd like to accomplish in my home that day, pray a blessing on those plans, and give myself permission to do two things I'll thoroughly enjoy.
Here's one of my smiley things. Blossom made it for me when she was just 9 or 10. At the time I had not learned to embroider yet, but she would take the sewing machine thread and scraps of curtain fabric or offcuts from the simple dresses I'd made her, and make me precious gifts like this pincushion...
And that's another lesson this year.
Keep what's precious.
Let go of what's not.
Are you journeying with me along this new adventure?
I'd love to hear what's in your heart for your own year of gentle domesticity. Write me a note in the comments, ok? We're linking arms and following our hearts together...